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Showing posts from 2013

Fullerenes are fun to play with

Update: Movie added (see below)


I am in a fortunate position, really.

Before I already had two turboladies as PhD-students, Sílvia Osuna and Mireia Güell, both of whom obtained the PhD-defense with maximum grade (excellent cum laude), and both of whom received the Premi Extraordinari de Doctorat en Química (Mireia in 2009, Sílvia in 2010).

See blog entrySee blog entry
And now I have a new one as well: Abril Castro. Abril received a few weeks ago the award for the Best Master Thesis of México in 2012 in the field of Thermodynamics (under supervision of Gabriel Merino), which resulted in part from a research stay she made early 2012 with a European exchange project (CANIOC, FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES). Moreover, at the #DFT2013 conference in Durham she won a IJQC-coffeemug in the #IJQCBingo that was taking place through Twitter during the conference.

Getting back to Sílvia Osuna: around the same time as Abril received the Master award, Sílvia finally received news about her Juan de la Cierva position (3-year postdoc, JdC201…

Como agua para chocolate

As I already explained in my TEDxUdG talk, people here in Catalunya are really really fond of chocolate, and I am also one of them (every morning I have to have my sandwich with hagelslag). Therefore, when @SeeArrOh organized the #ChemMovieCarnival I immediately knew which movie to discuss here: Como agua para chocolate. And this is because Chemistry is "just like cooking", as SeeArrOh has called his blog about Chemistry. And I agree.

The movie is a beautiful Mexican piece of art about a love that was not meant to be (or rather.. well, you'll have to watch the movie, I will not spoil the details), between Tita and Pedro. Since Tita was the first-born girl, according to ancient traditions she should take care of her mother; Pedro marries her sister instead just to be close to her.

Now to the Chemistry (and Cooking):
the first scene (after 5m30s) is when the little girls (in particular Tita) are learning from Nacha how water is needed to make chocolate (therefore the title,…

Unsubmission with Endnote style

If you ever submit a manuscript to Molecular Physics, do not use the Endnote style as provided by Thomson-Reuters (!!!

Instead of placing references in brackets [1], the standard Endnote style does so in superscript2 (and without brackets). Moreover, it not only does so in the text, but also in the reference list.. :-(
(further minor issues: grouping together of references, author names as entered and not by initials)

Because of using this Style, and not checking if it was correct (my mistake!), today our manuscript [3] was "unsubmitted" so I could redo the references and re-submit. Normally, a journal would simply ask for a (technical) revision, but this was the first time a manuscript was "unsubmitted".. Curious.
PS. After doing the revision of the references, it was accepted within the hour. :-)

If you need a better version of the Endnote Style for Molecular Physics, I've put it on my website (note, use the…

Interviewed by high-school students: "I still feel that I’m only just starting, I’m still learning a lot”

As I already described in an earlier entry, in November I went to a secondary school in Vilablareix to give a talk about "I'm a Chemist.....", and was interviewed by three students. It was done in Catalan, which is available at the website of school. Here I have translated it into English:

"I'm only just starting...."

In November last year I went to a secondary school (INS Vilablareix) for an outreach activity called La ciència en primera persona ("Science Directly"), in which I talked about what it is to be a scientist and what is Chemistry. It was an adaptation of my TEDxUdG talk I'm a Chemist..... to make it more elaborate and include more things.
I was also interviewed by some of the kids, and I just saw what they had made of it (in Catalan):

It has become a nice story, thanks guys!!!

(update 19-3-2013, I have just translated the interview to English, see